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Exhuming a deceased body

Exhumation of both buried and cremated remains always requires a Home Office Licence

Exhumations occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • movement from the original grave to a subsequently acquired family plot in the same or other cemetery
  • repatriation overseas
  • transfer from one cemetery scheduled for development to another
  • Court orders requiring further forensic examination
Please note the granting of a Home Office Exhumation Licence is subject to a valid reason being approved by the Home Office.

It is an offence to exhume any human remains without first obtaining the necessary lawful permissions.

  • A licence must be obtained from the Home Office. Exhumation licences will also contain certain conditions that have to be observed. Apply here for your Exhumation licence.
  • An Environmental Health Officer must be present at the exhumation of a body to ensure that there is no threat to public health